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Special Agent Roy Dale Zearfoss | Illinois Central Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police Illinois Central Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

Special Agent

Roy Dale Zearfoss

Illinois Central Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch: Friday, July 17, 1936

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 44

Tour: 20 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Location: Illinois

Weapon: Handgun; .45 caliber

Offender: One shot and killed

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Special Agent Roy Zearfoss was shot and killed when he and another agent were investigating trespassers at a rail yard roundhouse near U.S. 51, about one mile north of Carbondale, Illinois.

At approximately 2:00 pm, both agents came upon two suspected hobos in the rail yard. While questioning them, one suspect produced a .45-caliber automatic handgun from a satchel and shot both agents, striking Agent Zearfoss twice in the abdomen. The other agent was able to return fire, missing both suspects, who then took Agent Zearfoss' service weapon which had fallen to the ground. The suspects, after being joined by an accomplice nearby, commandeered a vehicle on the highway and fled. Agent Zearfoss was taken to a hospital and died three hours later, while the other agent recovered from his wounds.

All three suspects were captured early the following morning in West Frankfort, Illinois, by authorities who killed one suspect. Both of the other suspects were wounded and charged with murder. It was later determined all three suspects were ex-convicts who were planning a bank robbery in Dongola, Illinois, when approached by the agents.

Agent Zearfoss had served with the Illinois Central Railroad Police Department for 20 years. He was survived by his wife, 7-year-old daughter, brother and sister.

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Rest in Peace Special Agent Roy Dale Zearfoss. Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice Protecting America's steel roadways.

I Pray for Peace for your Family, Friends and Co-Workers. I also Pray that the hounds of hell forever gnaw on the bones of your murderers.


Senior Special Agent B.L. Sherwood (Ret)
Port Terminal Railroad Police Houston, TX
July 17, 2016


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